One of the highlights of my summer trip to Tuscany in 2017 was the in-depth visit atop Montalcino with Alberto Passeri of La Gerla. These vines originally belonged to Franco Biondi-Santi—creator of the first Brunello di Montalcino—though Franco's disgruntled sister sold a small slice of their land to Sergio Rossi in 1976.

Named after the small wooden picking bins worn on one's back, La Gerla is an homage to the vineyard workers who worked tirelessly to bring in the best raw materials. Today, the estate encompasses 12 hectares of vines, all farmed organically. Once in botti, the wines showing more approachability in their youth are bottled as Rosso di Montalcino. This is one of the best deals in traditional Montalcino!

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